Apple has been fined 20 million New Taiwan Dollars after the country’s Fair Trade Commission found that the company was illegally interfering with price plans on phone networks.
The commission found out through a series of emails that the country’s three biggest phone networks, Chunghwa Telecom Co, Far Eastone Telecommunication Co and Taiwan Mobile Co, had been asked to submit pricing plans for Apple’s approval before the phone was due to hit the market. This violates article 18 of Taiwan’s Fair Trade Act by telling key service providers how much to sell iPhones for as well as asking them to adjust rates.
“The U.S. computer company has no right to meddle in companies’ iPhone pricing plans after selling them distribution rights.The three carriers can distribute or resell iPhones at their complete discretion after paying Apple for those rights,” the commission said according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple can appeal the case but if the Cupertino based company refuses to comply, it could see the fine increased to up to 50 million New Taiwan Dollars instead. So far this ruling only applies to iPhones but the Fair Trade Commission plans to investigate the pricing of iPads too.
KitGuru Says: Apple always seems to be in some form of legal battle somewhere in the world. That said, when converted, NT$20 million is around $666,000 US Dollars, which I’m pretty sure they can afford.